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Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer Review and Specifications

Specifications of Greg Mortimer

Year built2019 new ship
Flag state Belgium
BuilderCMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen Shipyard, Jiangsu China)
ClassINFINITY ULSTEIN CX103 (ice-strengthened expedition ship)
Building costUSD 65 million
OwnerSunStone Ships Inc
OperatorAurora Expeditions Australia
Speed16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph
Length (LOA)104 m / 341 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage7400 gt
Passengers120 - 160
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsOcean Victory, Ocean Explorer, Ocean Odyssey, Ocean Discoverer
Christened bytba

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Review of Greg Mortimer

MS Greg Mortimer cruise ship is an ice-strengthened (polar class 1A / PC6) expedition vessel with scheduled delivery in August 2019. The boat is owned by SunStone Ships (USA) and operated under charter by Aurora Expeditions (Australian company specializing in the Arctic and Antarctic cruise tour itineraries).

Ship technology

Greg Mortimer is the first in a series of ten "Ulstein CX103" design (Infinity-class) expedition vessels, with sisterships Ocean Victory (2020-Sept), Ocean Explorer (2021-Feb), Ocean Odyssey (2022-March), Ocean Discoverer (2022-Sept), Ocean Albatros (2022-Oct) plus 4 more (TBN) units. The patented ULSTEIN X-BOW design is one of the unusual for expedition ships features, The vessel also utilizes the latest technologies in naval engineering. The ship is technically managed by Cruise Management International (Miami-based passenger vessel/fleet management company). CMI Leisure Miami handles hotel operations.

Greg Mortimer cruise ship

Aurora Expeditions cooperated with the US-based shipowner SunStone Ships Inc to construct a custom-designed vessel for expedition-type voyages in the polar regions, providing industry's best adventure travel vacation experiences and modern amenities.

Greg Mortimer cruise ship

Aurora Expeditions is among the pioneers of polar expedition cruising and a leading adventure travel company on the Australian market. The company was one of the first to introduce ship travel to numerous remote destinations in the polar regions. Established in 1991, in 2008 Aurora Expeditions was sold and the new owners remained true to the original expedition spirit. Initially offering small-group cruises to Antarctica, Aurora Expeditions now also operates expedition voyages to Norway's Svalbard Islands, Russia's Far East, Greenland, Papua New Guinea, Africa (Chobe River safari cruises in Botswana), Amazon River. For polar operations, Aurora Expeditions charters the ice-strengthened Polar Pioneer (fka Akademik Schuleykin), as well as the Russian research ships Spirit of Enderby (aka Professor Khromov) and Akademik Shokalskiy.

Ship technology

The major advantage of the patented "ULSTEIN X-BOW" design is the ship's ability to navigate with improved stability in comparison to traditional bow-design vessels. X-BOW vessels are less subject to vertical motions (induced by waves), continuing on course smoothly while maintaining high speeds. The ship's engines use less fuel, which results in reduced air emissions and fuel consumption.

Greg Mortimer cruise ship

The ship is equipped with the latest propulsion and return-to-port systems. It also has top-notch dynamic positioning technology - computer-controlled systems allowing automatic maintenance of the vessel's position through its own propulsion units (thrusters and propellers). This allows stable floating while maintaining the necessary stability for launching watercraft - and without using anchors.

With the highest for passenger vessel ice-class 1A (Polar Class 6 / PC6), MS Greg Mortimer has icebreaking capacity 1 m (3 ft) and complies with maritime industry's latest polar code requirements and specifications. The boat offers unprecedented levels of safety and environmental protection. Exclusively designed for polar cruises, the ship allows Aurora Expeditions to continue to provide the company's authentic, top quality small-ship travel experience.

Shipboard facilities

The cruise ship features dedicated outdoor observation areas (including fore-located Observation Deck with two Hydraulic Platforms and two Viewing Platforms), stern marina (watersports platform serving company's sea kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving programs), a fleet of 20x Zodiacs (large-capacity motorized boats used for passenger transportation - tendering and landings). The aft-located Zodiac loading platform is a new design and allows easier and faster boarding. Sun Deck (top-deck forward) is furnished with premium garden furniture (sofas, armchairs, sunloungers) and used for both relaxation and wildlife viewing. The top-deck bow is the Observation Lounge (served by its own Bar) and midship is the funnel (with four stacks/engine exhaust pipes).

Other facilities include Medical Centre (Infirmary), Change Room (Mudroom), Bar Lounge (lecture theater forward on Deck 5), Dining Room Restaurant, Ship Shop, Lobby area (Reception Desk), Library, Art Room, Wellness Centre (Fitness, Spa, Sauna Room, Treatment Rooms for Massages), Lower Sun Deck (Deck 7 aft, with lifeboats and liferafts), Upper Sun Deck (Deck 8 midship, with sunbathing area and two whirlpool hot tubs).

Four Zodiac Docks (2 on each side, hull access at sea-level) serve as boat launching platforms.


Greg Mortimer ship has a total of 80 staterooms for 120 passengers (max capacity 160).

  • Most staterooms (80% of all, excepting only Aurora cabins with portholes on Deck 3) are with a private, step-out balcony accessible from the living area via sliding, floor-ceiling glass door. Each balcony is furnished with a small table and two deck chairs. 60% of all cabins can be booked with triple occupancy (accommodate a 3rd person on pull-out couch/sofabed).
  • Hotel beds (King-size or two twin, size 200 x 160 cm, ample under-bed storage space for suitcases), sleeping couch (sofabed), bedside cabinets, mirrored vanity (writing desk / dressing table) with chair, built-in dressers with drawers, mini-bar / refrigerator, 42-inch flat HDTV (local and satellite reception), phone (onboard communication only), digital clock / alarm, seating area (small table with 1 or 2 armchairs), spacious wardrobe (closet with hangers, drawers, electronic safe), individual climate control, medical emergency button.
  • Each stateroom has a private, full-size bathroom with shower / WC, hairdryer, premium bath amenities.
  • Suites are in 3 categories - CS-Captain's, JS-Junior and BS-Balcony. These are the largest staterooms, with double-size balconies and offering extra amenities, such as in-room dining service (continental breakfast served on the balcony).

The ship has a total of 20 pairs of connecting cabins (balconied rooms) that can be booked as one stateroom ("family cabin") for up to 6 persons. The boat has no wheelchair-accessible cabins (for passengers with disabilities).


On January 22, 2018, Aurora Expedition officially announced MS Greg Mortimer's full polar cruise itinerary program for the inaugural season 2019-2020. The inaugural cruise departure was scheduled for October 31, 2019.

Following the "Inaugural Cruise" to Antarctica were planned a total of 20 "icy voyages" (season 2019-2020) with itineraries visiting Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island (UK) and The Falklands, as well as the Arctic destinations Svalbard Islands (Norway), Jan Mayen Island (Norway), Franz Josef Land (Russia), East Greenland, Iceland.

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Ship's name honours Greg Mortimer (born 1952) - Aurora Expeditions company's co-founder (together with his wife Margaret Mortimer). He is best known as one of the first Australians to climb Mt Everest without oxygen (in October 1984).

On March 16, 2018, officially started vessel's construction with the steel-cutting ceremony at Jiangsu FRP shipyard (Haimen Base, China). The ceremony was attended by Xianfu Hu (CMIH's General Manager) and Niels-Erik Lund (SunStone's CEO). On June 12, 2018, was held vessel's keel laying ceremony. The ship was launched (floated-out from drydock) on March 12, 2019. The launching ceremony was attended by Mr Greg Mortimer (Aurora Expeditions), Mr Xianpu Hu (China Merchants Group's Managing Director) and Mr Niels Erik Lund (SunStone Ships' President).

Greg Mortimer cruise ship

With a combined delivery and naming ceremony, the vessel was officially christened on September 6, 2019, at the Haimen Shipyard.

At the end of February 2018, the ship-charterer Aurora Expeditions announced the company's deal with "CMI Leisure Management" (Miami-based company). The MS Greg Mortimer ship management deal included staffing, hotel services, housekeeping, onboard food and beverages, purchasing supplies, logistics. CMI Leisure is among the world's leading companies providing small-ship management services. The company was first contracted by Aurora Expeditions for managing the SunStone-owned ship MS Polar Pioneer.

On March 16, 2017, SunStone Ships Inc signed the 4-shipbuilding agreement with the Hong Kong-based company "China Merchants Industry Holdings" (abbrev CMIH) for construction of the 4 vessels. SunStone is the world's largest (by tonnage) shipowner chartering exclusively expedition vessels to the cruise travel industry. , Since there is an option for an additional 6 units, by this so-called "ULSTEIN CX103" project could be built up to 10 vessels.

The company CMIH is a subsidiary of China Merchants Group (among the country's largest groups of companies). Following the contract with SunStone Ships, CMIH signed an agreement with the Norwegian company Ulstein Design (part of Ulstein Group, headquartered in Ulsteinvik Norway) to supply the ship design and equipment package (ULSTEIN COM / Navigation Bridge system, and the integrated automation systems ULSTEIN IAS and ULSTEIN POWER), and also to supervise the shipyard works. For the ship's hotel design was contracted the Florida (USA)-based company Tomas Tillberg Design International (specializing in passenger vessel design). The design features Ulstein's patented X-BOW (providing fuel efficiency and significantly improved stability in rough weather). The vessel complies with the 2009-issued SOLAS requirements for "Virtual Anchorage" and "Safe Return to Port" (SRtP) implemented via Dynamic Positioning System (computer-controlled, automatically maintains ship's position) and Zero Speed Stabilizers (roll reduction system).

CMIH also signed an agreement with the Finnish company "IS Makinen Inc" to pre-fabricate the vessels' cabins, wet units and interior public spaces. For this purpose, Makinen established a cabin assembly plant and an interior workshop facility at the shipbuilding yard in China.

Project's shipbuilder is the subsidiary company "China Merchants Heavy Industry".

The ship is powered by 4x "Wartsila 20" diesel engines (two 6-cylinder plus two 8-cylinder) running on HFO (heavy fuel oil). The 6-cylinder engines are fitted with the exhaust gas cleaning system "Wartsila NOR" (NOx gas reducing technology). The contract with Wartsila was signed in November 2017. The engines were delivered in January 2018.

The USD 260 million shipbuilding order for the 4 boats was signed in June 2017. The first vessel of the series (Greg Mortimer) was scheduled for delivery in August 2019, followed by one ship every 6 months after. MS Greg Mortimer officially enters service in September 2019.

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Greg Mortimer Itineraries

The below listed Greg Mortimer cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Small Cruise Lines fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2019 Oct 31 12 days, round-trip Spirit of Antarctica Ushuaia $7615
2019 Nov 10 12 days, round-trip Spirit of Antarctica Ushuaia $7615
2019 Nov 20 12 days, round-trip Spirit of Antarctica Ushuaia $7615
2019 Nov 30 20 days, round-trip South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey Ushuaia $13692
2019 Dec 17 13 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia $7000
2019 Dec 29 21 days, round-trip South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey Ushuaia $14385
2020 Jan 26 11 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas $7462
2020 Feb 04 13 days, round-trip Across the Antarctic Circle Ushuaia $8923
2020 Feb 15 12 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia $8231
2020 Feb 25 10 days, one-way from King George Island to Punta Arenas King George Island $6462
2020 Mar 04 13 days, one-way from King George Island to Ushuaia King George Island $8615
2020 Mar 15 21 days, round-trip South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey Ushuaia $13615
2020 Apr 03 16 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Valparaiso Ushuaia $5538
2020 Apr 17 14 days, one-way from Valparaiso to Guayaquil Valparaiso $4769
2020 Apr 29 11 days, one-way from Guayaquil to Cartagena Guayaquil $3692
2020 May 08 16 days, one-way from Cartagena to Miami Cartagena $5538
2020 Jun 22 10 days, round-trip Svalbard Odyssey Longyearbyen $6308
2020 Jul 02 10 days, one-way from Longyearbyen to Kirkenes Longyearbyen $6308
2020 Jul 12 14 days, round-trip Franz Josef Land Explorer Kirkenes $8692
2020 Jul 26 14 days, one-way from Kirkenes to Reykjavik Kirkenes $8077
2020 Aug 09 24 days, one-way from Reykjavik to Longyearbyen Reykjavik $13000
2020 Aug 31 20 days, one-way from Longyearbyen to Bergen Longyearbyen $11462
2020 Sep 24 20 days, one-way from Reykjavik to St Johns Reykjavik $11462

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